More and more organizations are realizing that investing in employee wellness can have a big impact on their company. What might seem like an extra cost can not only cause team members to be more productive, but it can see them feel more invested in their company, more connected to their coworkers, and more fulfilled in their personal lives. While happy employees can be unproductive, providing resources to support employees is a great way to set your organization apart from other employers, and take charge of your workplace.
Encouraging employees to exercise is a fantastic way to support wellness. There are so many health benefits to both your physical and mental health by getting fit such as a strengthened immune system and reduced stress. This can lead to a more productive environment, as employees who feel healthier and happier are more likely to get more done.
There are many ways to implement a fitness culture and encourage people to get moving. Some companies offer a fitness benefit, where they offer to reimburse employees for their purchases of home fitness equipment. Other ideas could be having a company-wide step challenge, workplace wellness programs, or providing a bike rack for employees to take advantage of biking to work. These kinds of benefits that aren’t a pay rise can change the perception of your workplace and keep employees feeling their best.
Watch Out for Screens
Needless to say, sitting at desks and staring at screens all day doesn’t feel the best for our eyes or our bodies. Unfortunately, working remotely or even a computer-based job in the office might mean looking at screens for your whole shift.
Eye strain can not only make you less productive while working, but it can also keep you from enjoying your hobbies outside of work. Promoting the 20-20-20 rule in your workplace can help to prevent eye fatigue, where for every 20 minutes of screen time, you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Additionally, comprehensive vision benefits can have tools to help with eye strain. Making sure that different types of contacts in the market are covered can help employees make better health decisions for themselves. While some contacts might have the correct prescription, a different type might work better, so providing a vision plan that works for everyone is crucial.
Vacations are a vital stress management tool. Taking time to stop thinking about work and focus on your personal life is incredibly important. Many companies provide generous or even unlimited paid time off but don’t see the rewards in the workplace and are confused. Creating a culture where employees feel comfortable taking their time off is essential for supporting wellness in the workplace.
One way is to give employees a certain amount of PTO and not let it roll over year-to-year, so employees will “use it or lose it!”, or provide unlimited vacation time and mandate that a certain amount of time be used. Mandating a minimum amount per year (and that a certain amount must be contiguous) can get employees to take the breaks they need and focus on their own wellness.
The pandemic forced many companies to go remote to promote their wellness so that they wouldn’t be exposed to COVID-19. However, coming through the other side, many companies are realizing that being hybrid or fully remote has other benefits to employee health.
Working from home has many ways to support your well-being. It gives back commute times, which can be spent working out, eating a healthy breakfast, or even extra time sleeping. All of these activities support your health. Moreover, being home instead of an office allows more freedom for employees to take charge of their physical health during the workday.
Champion Mental Health
Providing mental health benefits is becoming more popular for companies. In addition to traditional health benefits, mental health care is becoming a priority for younger job seekers. Supporting mental health should be a comprehensive plan that includes both benefits and positive cultural efforts to promote mentally healthy employees.
Mental health apps with guided meditation can be a great starting point for mental wellness. Additionally, providing an insurance plan that covers therapy is a benefit that could set your company apart from those with more traditional health plans.
Defining a company culture isn’t always the easiest thing, but taking steps to make sure yours considers mental health is essential. Talking about burnout and overworking is a practice to adopt in manager 1-on-1 and even group meetings. Additionally, making sure employees know the resources they have access to helps them to be utilized to the fullest and promotes an environment that talks about mental health.
Recognizing your employees is essential for morale. By acknowledging success, you create a workplace culture where people feel valued. Not only does this encourage productivity and other workplace benefits, but it can also help promote a healthy mental state for your team members. Conversations around mental health rising (for good reason!) and working in a healthy environment where your contributions feel valuable are great for staving off burnout and motivating employees.
Reinvent Your Hours
Business leaders across the globe are testing out alternative structures to working nine to five. Ideas like a four-day workweek or a six-hour workday could lead to an increase in productivity from the traditional 40-hour workweek. While it may seem counterintuitive, this time spent not working might let people get more done, as they’re less burnt out, and have to focus their time more on work.
What works best for your workforce might be different from other companies. Taking a poll and talking to the people you work with could lend insight into what would be more supportive for your company. Moreover, giving them a say in this type of a decision, instead of telling them what’s best for them, can make them feel more invested in company operations and more motivated in their work.
Also Read: Dealing With Mental Health In The Workplace
While these benefits won’t affect all your employees, having systems in place to support team members who can have the hardest time finding work-life balance won’t go unnoticed. While the U.S. doesn’t have mandated parental leave policies, providing time off for new parents not only improves their wellness but can also break down workplace inequality, as families won’t have to choose between working or taking care of their children.
There are other benefits that can support parents, such as flexible working hours, in-office spaces for nursing mothers, onsite daycare, or even childcare stipends. Not only will these benefits make your workplace more attractive, but they also support the well-being of people who are already dealing with sleepless nights and all the challenges (and fun!) of being new parents.
Some companies will throw a few random benefits to their employees because they heard “Happy, taken care of employees are more productive.” While that is true, it takes a reductionist view on the approach to wellness in the workplace. The benefits your organization will gain by promoting employee wellness reach beyond just productivity. You’ll have a happier, more welcoming workplace for all employees, and your wellness might just improve, too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why is wellness important in the workplace?
Ans. Wellness in the workplace is important, as it ensures that employees are healthier, happier, and more productive.
Q2. What are the 5 components of wellness?
Ans. The 5 components of wellness are: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual.
Q3. What do you mean by employee wellness?
Ans. Employee wellness refers to the overall mental, the physical, emotional, and economic health of your employees. Employee wellness is important for them to be more efficient and productive at the work they do.